[eComm Bytes] Should Amazon Allow Sellers to Block Bad Buyers?

In a topic that is posted almost as often as “1st Sale Doctrine!!!” the question has once again been asked.

I’ve always been a firm believer in no. Besides, you expect Amazon to actually implement it properly???

Along with the fact that is is stupidly easy for a buyer to spin up a new buyer account is seconds so it would be ineffective.


eBay lets sellers block bad buyers, should Amazon too? The question came up in a conversation on the Amazon discussion boards. The original poster made a lengthy case for how doing so would benefit not only Amazon sellers, but Amazon itself.

This is the L E N G T H Y post on NSFE that the OP references, plus link.


NOTE: The NSFE original has two “item 5s”.


I think the answer should be NO but only if Amazon reveals its criteria for closing a buyer account which is used to cheat sellers.

P.S. I block Ebay buyers for reasons which do not meet good business practices. I block them because the p*ss me off.


Should sellers be blocking buyers? No, but the AI should.

If someone’s returning a product multiple times they should be blocked from buying that product again, at least from that seller. Even if it’s seller faulted. If I buy something from a seller 2 times and return it 2 times because of a seller fault, any rational person won’t order a 3rd time. So the AI should do everyone a favor and block that buyer from making that mistake again. Either the buyer’s being saved from another NCX, or a drop shipper’s getting blocked.


I’m not against this. I mean AI blocks sellers


B & M stores have the right to refuse service in their stores. Isn’t that a form of blocking?

If the block is only for your store and not the entire platform, then we would consider it as a means of controlling abusive behavior; however, if you are having to block several buyers, then wouldn’t the excessive blocking reflect more on you than the buyers?

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

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This will never happen for one reason. It loses money for Amazon. They will not do anything that reduces the fees they collect. I don’t think they really care about buyer fraud as it doesn’t affect their bottom line. Just my $.02.



I vote YES.

The argument that Amazon would lose sales, I think is minimal, as the buyer can then easily purchase from another. If they can not, because your product is unique only to you, again no loss, as they still can not buy anywhere else.

As to the Buyer creating a new account. Yes they can, but in the back of their mind they must know that the order will be highly scrutinized and that they may not even get it delivered, and if they do, they will have second thoughts on returning. Nothing can stop them, but they will certainly be aware.

As well, Amazon can even ghost the BLOCKING.
On the listing, Amazon can simply not display the store that is blocking them.

Amazon also has the code already built in, though obviously they would have to enhance it quite abit. As a seller, as you know, when you attempt to add to the cart, the system IDs you, and prevents you.

On the Seller side, Amazon could limit the seller blocking.

  1. A seller must be active for 1 year (lets say)
  2. A seller can only block x number per calendar year. Based on orders. Like 1 per 100 or something.
    This then causes the Seller to Block with caution and only to the most egregious instances of fraud.

On the Buyer side, this Blocking data is GOLD for Amazon. As a seller block is just ONE seller. If the Buyer accumulates say 10 blocks, that indicates that 10 separate - unconnected sellers have had very serious concerns about the buyer.

That is my 5 cents.


I can tell you right now that a buyer block won’t be used only for fraud.

Sellers will block buyers who return something period. I know I would. If it’s limited to 1 per 100 orders, my return rate is around 2%, I’d just randomly block half the people who return something. And it doesn’t actually help against “egregious fraud,” as any serious fraudster will have dozens if not hundreds of buyer accounts.

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I am not sure I approve of that either, and the Civil Rights laws have limited that for “public accommodations”.

I remember some crusty old shop keepers who required you ring for entry to their store and would not let you in if they did not like the way you looked,

What criteria they used was certainly not public and many assumed they were discriminating in a manner which was hard to defend.

The fact that I knew some, and knew they were not bigots did not improve the appearance.

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I block Ebay buyers who make an insulting offer for a listing.

I block Ebay buyers who ask questions which are answered in the listing.

I sell with no refurns, usually accept returns but block the buyer.

I block buyers who message me and are disrepectful.

And I do not feel that all of that short list are appropriate for Amazon.

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Then, as you suggested, it would make more sense for Amazon to continue to use AI to identify Buyer accounts that have potentially been abusive of Sellers or Amazon policies, but to tighten their tolerance for potentially abusive behavior and act more quickly on Seller-reported abuse by Buyers.

Amazon could do this and at the same time begin to offer warnings to Buyer accounts approaching a certain level of concern.

…unless tolerating Buyer abuse of 3P Sellers in all but criminal cases is baked into Amazon’s Marketplace model. :eyes:

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They already do that to some extent. The reason why sellers complain is Amazon’s threshold for blocking a buyer is when the buyer starts costing Amazon money, not when they cost sellers money.

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